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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  June 12, 2010 2:00am-6:00am EDT

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her colleagues. >> i am actually laura peterson from taxpayers for common sense. we are a budget watchdog based in the sea. i would le . . you foroming here today. even though there are four of a speaking, there are many people involved with this report. the all contributed a measurable amounts of their knowledge and time expertise. if they would all stand and identified themselves-- [iudible]
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many of you may be struck with this as vu. deju seems likthis appears every few years with ttle success. what is different about this moment in history and why is the report that we areeleasing so necessary? essentially, we are looking down the barrel of record deficits that threaten our economic stability. economic insecurity fosters national insecurity in numerous ways from increasing our vulnerability to external crises to owing spending for r highestefense priorities. the recely released strategy correctlof firms that our
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prosperity sers as the wellspring of our power. it also cautions that maintaining that power will maintain discipline in setting priorities and making trade- offs. to put it mildly, priorities and making trade-offs has not been a hallmark of our defense spending over the last decade. as noted in our report, it is the largest portion of federal discretionary spending at 56%. defense secretary robert gates himself admits that the influx of money that has more than doubled the defense budget during that time only exacerbate the ability to set priorities at the department of defense. the long-rangelans are so expensive that there unsustainable even with logic budgetary -- moderate budgetary growth.
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we are all familiar with the horror stories about cost overruns on major weapo programs. however, people inside and outse the pentagon agreed acquisition reform is not alone going to solve the problems. every part of the defense budget -- defense departmen much tighten its belt just as every agency and american is doing today. congressman must be an active member in this. lawmakers must take the long vvew and resist the urge to budget for the politics of today rather thanhe taxpayers of tomorrow thank yound i will now introduce larry forbes. >> thank you. like everybody else, i commend chairman frank andhe congressman for doing this and
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it has been great working with thisroup. we ever takeover the pentagon, you guys can be the controller and program analysis for. if you take a look at our report, and chairman frank mentioned this, the ideas we have in therhave been expresse both by t secretary of defense and the president. when we talk about the fact that we can do these things and state money, the facts will not undermine o national secuty. let me go over a couple of thos robert gates has anrticle in foreign affairs tt says we will not do iraq and afghanistan and -- again. that is right. why not go back to the force level for the army and marine corps if you are not going to do th again? i talk aboutategic forces. we say the new strategic arms is 50/50, let's get closer to
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1000. when people say we're underming security, we of course have the famous ballista all mystic defense which is the administration addedoney, congress added money, the thing has not been fully tested. but keep it in research and development until is ready to go. secretary gates says why does the navy need 11 carriers when nobody else has one? let's get rid of two carriers. we have unmanned planes doing a heck oa job and pakistan d afghanistan. let's get rid of some of the regular tactical air wings. and in terms of investment, it has been mentioned for a couple of them. why do y need an expeditionary fighting vehicle? when was the lastime the marines had into the spending? robert gates mention that.
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even the president is talking about being able to do this. secretary of gates gives the speeches but he do not taken out of the budget. after he mentied that about the carriers, he said do not want to cut carriers. it to somebody's time to step up to the plate. we have. the v-22.ave a couple of hundred. this is one thing we suld have listened to dick cheney on. he called it a tkey. thisas supposed to help the marines two amphibious landings. it has not been used for that, nor will it. you have the f-35. you had chairman < and senator mccain pass any bill about weapons systems doing over the breach. let's kill the th pentagon chest exempted six ofhem, the first ones that
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oke the breach including the f-35. the navy says they do not want any. good u ha a lot of alternatives. research development test and evaluation. i had the privilege of working with ronald reagan. we are spending more on that and the cold war is over. let's bring it back to that level. finally, and this is not going to be easy, somebody has to take a look a the personnel costs and thdepartment of defense. if we doot, the pentago is going to end up with general motors. we talk about ppasing in some of the things. when you decide on a military pay raise, they are using base y. any of you in the service know that base pay is only less than
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half of your compensation. we said let's use the pentagon's own reviews which have said calling relatively military spending. tricare is a great program tha people were's -- retire and not take the health care. care beforellowing you to do that. was passed in the waning days of the clinton adminisation. whenou urn 65ou can stay in it. when this commission is done, they will be means testing a lot of the other benefits. those are all things you can do that saveubstantial amounts of
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money and in keeping with things thsecretary of defen and the esident have said in the national security strategy. thank you. >> i think we are lucky t have a very smart crowd here. we wil make our presentations brf so that you can hammer us with questions and we hope that you do. my perspective is this. cutting the defense budget, soon insiificantly, is a national security imperative. patras' purcell's, what is the on thing that weould have done these past eight years, the one thinwe could hav done that we did not to do that would have made the greatest contribution to our nation cost+
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security and to the security of the world, i believe the answer is simple. get our financial hse in order. that is the one thing we could down but would have de the greatest contribution. instability in the world is the monster that is going to fill the ranks of al qaeda. that is the monster that will turnragitates and to collapsed stat. it is the monster that will drivinternational crime. we have to began about a -- think aboubeginning to get our financial house in order we have to think of that is a national security imperative. that is why people who are focused on defense issues are looking with interest at the deficit question. it looks as though there will be a drive to reduce the expenditures by as much as $250 billion and maybe more per year.
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to bring the deficit minimally down below on the growth rate of gdp. eventually, we grow ourselves out of that. $250 billion howuch might be theentagon portion? they spent aut 19 percent of all federal spending including medicare and social security. about 56% of discretionary spending and they are sponsibleor about 65% of the growth in discretionary spending since 2001. ose are all big chunks. some people might say do not touch fense. to not touch it. that weakens us. let us takehe $250 billion out of the other accounts. i think what at comes down to is an approach that saps the fundamentals of our nation's strength. e are in this for t long
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haul and we better be,, we have to pay attention to the fundamentals of national strength. that means our economy, our people. when wlook at how to allocate productions, the pentagon is ir game. what wve tried to do in entifying at least $100 billion in cuts and in some iterations more, is to try to have a new way of thinking about national security. many people talk about rebalancing security instruments. mostly what people are thinking about this rebalancing assets and resources betweenhe ste departme defense and other instruments of security. we're ting aurther steand say we have to rebalance our sense of national strength. it is not just come down to the pentagon.
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it comes down to the fundamentals of our nation's economy and of our peopl we need to take care of that if we are really concerned about our future strength and future security. what we dideally was to say let's make three moves. what we need is to reform the way that we pruce military power. the second is we need to rethink ourommitment and the world to focus on those that are most important. we need to rethink our security goals. for a long time, the pentagon has been driven by a goal of deploying within 10 days enough force to begin to fight a war in some distant land. 30 days later,o have completed and won that war. 30 days after that be prepared again to deploy for another. if you change that 10-30-30 to
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two weeksone month,p two goals a little bit, you get a dramatic effect on the requirements that the pentagon tried to meewith its budget. have to risit some of those securi goals. is it really thatmportant to be able to do everything so fast? that is just one change. i want to quickly draw your attention to some dramatic changes that we are proposing. maybe in question and answer period, you c drill us on these things. one is that we're looking at a military of 1.5 million full- time equivalent personnel. about 1.5. we are talking about a series of reductions, if they are fully implemented, you could do this. if you went to the whole way, we
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will reduce it to 1.3 million. that is a reduction of 200,000 personnel. probably 60% will come o of ground forces. on the assumption that we are not looking to do a future iraq and afghanistan the way we have done this. we will to emphasize large-scale prracted campaigns. on that assumption, we reduce land forces back to the level of about 2001. the other 40% would come out of the air force and navy. we are talking about capping the level of presence in europe at 100,000. where we are headed is abo 150,000. we are talking about bringing it down by one-third. most of thateduction will occur in europe. there will be some reduction in asia, as well. we are talking about reducing three tactical air wing beyond what the pentagon
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plans. w're talking about taking a look at the navy, currently, 286 ships. we are talking about bringing that down to 230. they want to go up to over 300. we say you do not have to do that. how do you make those cuts? we have to guidelines. the first one waset's use our military power inappropriate ys. i know that for a screw, you need a screwdriver. for nl, you need a hammer. you can hammer a screw with a hammer but you make a mess of it. that is what we have been doing for the past 20 years. we are using our military to shape the world in diplomatic functions. we are focusing on having a lot of permanent presence thrghout the world. even as we develop a capacity for very rapid deployment and
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four intercontental stke capability. we are saying let's think about the best uses of our military and we are thinking about focusing on traditional notions of defensend deterrence. and that is what they do best. mindecond is let's keep in d think about the overmatch that currently exists between what we have and the threats that have developed in the world and the mismatches that exist. with regard to t overmatches, strike targets has increased0 times. that is since the first gulf war. aounttake that into when we think about how bennett been made. the forces that i described earlier, one of the guidelines re used is this, let's build a force that could take care of
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al of the conventional wars that we have fought. since 1990. they could respond to those adequately. they could do some action in two theaters at once. but take a look at what the -- what is actually required of us. not just a raw numbers ofhips but if you use those ships and planes to their full capabilities, how many do we really need? thoseuctions i talked about and at is the result of what we came up with. we could have fought the war successfully if we did it efficiently with the forces we talked about. i will leave the rest to question and answer and i want to introduce a member of the cato institute. >> thank you. i am director of foreign-policy studies at cato instute. i want to thank our colleagues on the task force and chairman
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frank for his leadership brought us together. the other speakers have laid out some specific proposals to achieve substantial reductions over the next years. productions th can be implemented without effecting u.s..ssential security of the while we do not all agree on all the particulars, we agree on one thing. the u.s. spends too much on its military. that is a subjective judgment. there are people in washington who think we do not spend enough. it a depends entirely upon what you expect your military to do. we think our military does too much and it should do less. put differently, we argue we spent too much because we choose to little. that is a phrase that was cause by a colleague who was a member of the task force and repeated in this report. it nicely encapsulates our problem.
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americans do not have a clear sense of our national security priorities. our military over the last two decades has obscured th need for any. the obscure what should be done with what must be done and what is more, we have lost our ability to differentiate between the threats thatust be addressed by the u.s. and those th can and should be addressed by others. washgton has allowed them military posture and to termine our security requirements as opposed to the other way around this must change in the portion of the report that we wrote, we call upon unique event it is. this calls upon open an active political culture. we should encourage pple to play a larger role in their defee. such a strategy would keep us
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safe. not all members of the task force increase our strategic vision but all agreed thate must revisit the purpose oour power. the mismatch between our means and our and this -- and our end s is growing every day. if we do't change the strategy, i fear a pleasant thing to haen. may settle a smaller and smaller military with more and moreissions, similar to what we did in the 1990's. that would be unwise andnfair to our men and womenn uniform. a second outcome is perhaps more likely but me palatable. we will conninue to act as the world's police reluctant to encourage other countrieo defend themselve we will spendore money on our military compounding our long- term fiscal solvency.
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we will get heavier and heavier burdens on u.s. taxpayers and u. troops and the bubble will crack under the pressure. i am not so fatalistic. i do not think evebody here should be. if we taketeps to draw down a military and lower our globa footprint anddopt a more grand strategy, we can achieve a sustainable level ofilitary spending that keeps america safe and strong for long time to come. thank you for our time and we're happy to take questions. > i want to expressy appreciaon. some of you who are in this business think articles fall on heard of into the atmosphere. i was reading an article co- authored byhris and had their and roll call and i was very pleased to see this joining of
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arguments and based on that. as i read, not everydy agrees as i go through this, i see one thing that will be in non starter with my colleagues. you are doing some cost shifting rather than reduction but with the exception of that, everythi else has a lot of appeal. i personally strongly agree with the section that was talked out in reducing the reach. one point i want to make in anticipation of the counter is we have very strange offoot of economics that is pvalent
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among some of my colleagues. it is called but the last keynesian is some -- weapon nizd keynesianism. peopleho claimed that government spendg is a job killeresist the efforts t get theseeapons bause their job creators. all the spending you do is going to be the least job producing because it is like insurance. is spending your hope is not used, it is and will use spending rather than spending that has a further purpose. with that, we will invite your quons. i have not figured out the philosophical impact of that but i would say that you can have --
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i am not sure entirely what that means. >> let me sess one other thing. we have invited peopleethat care about how we spending, the environment cannot tax duction, education, housing. if we do not get my colleagues to act in the general dirtion that is been outlined, every other issue i have just talked about will suffer. taxes will go hier than they otherwise would. spending would be cut elsewhere. we will defer between ourselves as to what to do with the savings. we know at nothing that any of us want will be possible until weake that start.
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i want to ask members of the media to ask questions. i know we ve some others here. >> how are you going to convince your colleagues to accept some of these changes? >> that is an important question. we have an opportunity because of the deficit reduction commission. there was a proposalhat a deficit reduction commission will come up with a plan and a 14f the 1 members aeed, it wille presented to congress. what we plan to do is have our colleagues right to the deficit commission and say we will not vote for any such plan unless of this order of magnitude are included. i thin this is a very good template for how it could be done. it is a defit reducti commission that offers uthat potential. i also think it is with secretary gates has talked
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about. the sheer mass of this military spenng in the context of the deficit cannot be denied. >> have you discussed any of these cuts with the appropriators or authorize years? have they indicated support? it's not yet. >> i wanted to wait for it. much of it depends on a philosophical change at first. weave fought many of these weapon by weapon issues and some of us helped defend and whethe fight over the f-22. if you do it just weapon system by weapon system, within the existingramework, which covers the military, it is hard to win. if you concede this level of mission, the weapo by weapon argument bomes harder to win. we will raise that that in the context of the broader definition of the strategy which i think is an important wayo win the argument.
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>> in that sam vein, at the moment, the president has said he will veto the defense authorization bill if it includes a small amount of spending. you were talking about canceling -pthe f-35 and the -22. >> how rlistic is this? >> i voted for the alternative energy. that may be easier to do when you talk about competition. the answer is it is not easy. if it was easy you uld have slept in this morning. i am inhe middle of a conference ofinancial reform. i am trying to find extra time for it. we need to begin this discussion. i will repeat what i said before. if you leave unchallenged the asmptions that we need to do everything we have agreed t do
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in the military area, it is hard to win. that is why it is so iortann that we have people on this experienced tax force saying you are trying to do too much. the argument gets harder. all kinds of things are on the table. you asked if people talked about cutting social security in the3 we are out of ea things to cut. well, not entirely. the proposal that we should ve $147 million to brazilian coon farmers to offset the 27 subsidiary that we give to russian cotton farmers is sufficient stupid. that is an actual proposal from my farm friend. thats why i wanted to broaden the debate. this is not a weapon system by weapon system argument.
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is an efft toay we have to redefine the mission and then you can still back to make the better mission. you put this is a nonstarter. at do you tnk is most appealing if you had to pick your top three of having any chance of persuading thtask force? >> the reduction in the reach of the commitment, scaling back the troops in asia and europe i t to my colleagues and the notion that we have to have a major presence the is a hard one. scaling back the number of nuclear weapons given what has happenedith the soviet union. that is another one. i believe missile defense is another area where there is a great >> is there a specific question, you talked about achieving sustainable levels.
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do you have a number in mind? t nt to go back to where we are half of now? pre-9/11? i know i asked this in a provocative way if you thought it could succeed but there are important questis raised if you cancel an international program that has a lot of money that has been invested. what sort of alteatives do you propose that can fill that bill and not aenate the international partne? >> e have already had to countries drop the f-35 because of the high cost of other countries, when they take a look at the increasing costs of that plane, i cannot think that is going to be the problem. the otherhing is the navy
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opted out which they said they waed to. you cannot then produce enough to make it the cost reasonable for your other partners. let me give you a round number. if you lk at the obama budget, by 2015,nd that's how long it would take to do all these things, they artalking about a defense budget for 2015 of $695 billion. let's saya miracle of miracles, congressman were able to persuade and geit down to $600 billion. the dollar billion of that is more cost. the base budget would be $550 billion. that would be more that we were spending before 9/11. it would beore than we have spent most of the time, even duringhe cold war. i think iis important t keep in mind. you talk about speing, we are spending morwhen y spent --
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when you talk aut the bourse in iraq and afghanistan and a time in our history except for ii. we hav500,000 people on the ground in vietnam anwe are spending more now. if you look at the reports, we look at how much it has grown and what it would be. even if you took everything we have said, you would still be sending 1.5 times more than your potential adversary. those are things that -- when you say that to people, they understand. in the report, it has been pointed out thaturing the cold war, we spent 60% as much as our adversaries and potential adversaries. 250%, if we bring that back we will sti b at 150%.
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>> is there isustainable level you are lking for? there agreement among q to say at least to return to that pr9/11 levels? >> there are numbe in here. reducing by nrly $1 children -- trillion less than was there. if you ask anybody thereyou might get a lower number starting from scratch. we are operating within that context. that may go back to f-35. it depends on how its the fine. if you assume that we should keep spending all of this money on the f-35. the engine becomes stronger. if you just get rid of the whole thing, you are ok. that is what i am for. the presidenhas asked for too little so he will not get what he asked for.
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i would advise the president that we do not need it. there is a qualification that every weapon should have the so many do not. you can look at its technical performance, its accuracy,ts ease of ing used by the personnel, but none of that workif there is no enemy. weapons without enemies are waste. if you look at the status of the people we areonfronting, we have outstripped that. but there are a superior weaps currently available that we have to get to e next generation even if there is no demand for it. >> do you think that this can catch on for the truth mentality? >> we ought to be clear about the budget. you understand that the way we
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do the military budget, it is like having a lawyer on retainer. we have a budget but if we go to war, that is extra. likk an old -- like en a lawyer goes to court. we have deliberately stayed away. i think we should be out of iraq very soo we did not want to get into that debate as to whether or not because nothing in here undercuts what will be provided for the troops currentl in the field. havergument i let's n any more iraq or afghanistan. you have the air power and sea power to go to the defense of people in trouble because they are thatened by somebody else. the answero that is let's not get into those things in the
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future unnecessarily. but nothingn what we're talkg about would uercut iraq and afghanistan. i think that makes it possible to get support. >> in respoe to two of those questions, we are doing sothing very different here. we are moving outside of the process. the deficit reduction commission in a sense is outside of the process. when we lk at what is happening in this coury today, some of the difficulties and particulars that we face inside the beltway are not really compelling people outside of the beltway. we're looking at is the congressional elections coming up if it is a perfect political orm. that is what we areacing. a perfect political storm based on a need to get our financial
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housin order different people to find thatn different ys. someocus on e deficit but i think thats a gain tinter. the way in which we approach this is there are three pot points for our security policy. threthat we need to keep in mind. one was the end of the cold war. the other oiouslys the 9/11 attacks. the third, which needs to be elevated to a national security concern, is the melown of 2007 and two dozen d. i think we need to tak that to heart. that means thinking about security in different ways. and doing things that inside of the beltway seen quite difficult because of the interest disturbed. i think we will find a certain degree of support outsidef the belt with because there, people's thinking is that in major change is requed. really what we are doing is saying let's turn ourselves to
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providing people with options in changes that matter. >> let me take questions. >> i wanted to put something o the table that is not exactly a question. for instance when you were talking and rhetorically asked why we need those things. the answer -- the question answers itself. in all of the discussions, there is no mention of what drives the defense budget. it is not because we're surrounded by energies -- and raise. its the military industrial complex. >> that is part of it. there is a real fear and concern about terrorism. i think that is too reductionist in its argument. the is a factoof that.
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theee is also, we have allowed to go unchallenged for too long e notion that we really have to be part of this cultural lag. troops in europe have been driven by the military industrial complex. there is still that the fear. >> i would like to commend the group for the spotlighting the need to audit the pentagon separately. mightn't nonprofit will launch next week -- my non-profit will launch next week. i wwnted to ask chairmanrank, you experienced recently the trans partin that movement coming from outside the beltway. >> i haveea conference that will deal with that. if there are questions for the military spending on the panel. >> the panel generally discusses troops with what is necessary and what is not.
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those are in market terms. human rights, a logical battles, what exactly would you em as necessary? >> the human rights issue had generally not been the cause of the military expenditures. the point that we of the side -- that we emphasize is that we are not the only country on t planet that is concerned about human rights. and we're not the onlyountry on the planet that is concerned about the security of places or regions or countries. yet we behavas if we are. if you're concerned isverting a human rights catastrophe or even dealing with natural catastroes around the world which the military is good at doing, my argument is you can conceive of a pla where other
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countries are empowered incapable of doing that, as well. it is not always the responsibility of u.s. troops and u.s. taxpayers. >> about human rights, of course the united state needs to be the example of how you would like the world to be run. we have smart security and a smarter way to deal with ea other around the world and i would like to just say something abou that for a minute. rather than the guns and bullets and airplanes and ships, wcould invest, over the long term, in dealing wiach other humans civilly, where we help each oth with infrastructure, education, health care, the frien.
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we have to find a different way to deal human human. civil rights, yes. we need support that. but we need to find a way to set the example for solving our differences. you talk about people saying i would never do that. if we do not do it, all of the weapons in the world will not save us from annihilating each other. so rights, human rights, there is a smarter way to do it. as we look at what we're doing he, step one is being a lot smarter and not investing in things we do not need. let's start investingn preventing why we have to have these weaponin the first place. >> there are cases where i would like to see military
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intervention for humanitarian purposes. but america is almost going to be one of the worst people to do that because of the suspicion and criticism which is unfair. we should be wking with other nations to be supportive of those interventions. i cannot think of cases where direct american iervention uld be political the best thing to do. but not made within the u.s. but i mean in terms of impact we are having in the particular region. >> i am curious about the personal cost aspect. i know a lot of costs .kyrocketed th the all volunteer force in 1973 caused a lot of escalation which is a big part of the budget. when you look at future directions, to go back to the draf idea because that
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definitely allows you to serve when you need to. >> any membs of the panel wants to talk about that? we did not discuss this in the panel. i had a role in creating the volunteer force and transition from the conscripted force. we basically had three components. one was in comparatively smaller active force, a guard and rerve which is a strateg bridge to a draft. we did not do that. we had two long worse. -- long wars. i would argue that what had ppened is you put all kind of special pay and tir which drove up personnel costs. that is not what we are talking about.
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what we're talking about is when you decide the annual pay rai which is become a bone of contention between secretary gates and the congress, you need p different basis. one review of comnsatn says it should not be based papered regular military compensation. if youid that, that would slow down the growth in rsonal costs we talk about. the other is tricare. copays have not gone up since 1975. secretary gates has talked about it but not put it in the budget. tricare single person is $19 per month and for a family it is double that. even the milary chiefs have said that it cannot contue. >> let me throw in one other thing. combat pay is a very substantial part of this. no more iraq and afghanistan.
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>> barry served at a time when the force was conscripted. i servedn an all volunteer force. there was a misconception of the all volunteer force being more costly than a constructi force. we have to capture the cos of very high turnover and a conscripted force. we also have a philosophal level of how to capture the cost of compelling people to serve against their will. it is hard to it does not impose those costs on a small number of people. >> go ahead. >> i agree wh chris that the volunteer military has worked. it has produced the best force
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in the world. i don't think it's art to think about going back. it i a over quantity approach. when you ask them to engage in very large scale slogs like in afghanistan, this drives costs up because the pentagon has to been hired to get people. part of the problem we have had is we have been trying to fight president johnson's war with president reagan's military. this military is not suited for this type of fighting. we put it together in reaction to the vietnam experience. without the anticipation that we would find ourselves in a similar situation. our assumption is regardless
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about how you feel about these wars, nobody talks about tt was a od idea. when people look back and say that was an investment of $1 trillion focus on 1% of the pele. how much progress were we able to buy. we are sll spending sums equal to the gdp of those countries. i don't think anybody is thinking about repeating that. what we want to do is lock in a guaranteed. we are notoing to find ouelves in that slope again. >> there are allies i feel commitment to. there is taiwan, south korea. nobody is talking abo significant numbers of ground troops. there is a technological aspect.
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i think it goes back about human rights. the focus ought to be on democrat in -- democratic societies intervening in a civil war does not work ery well because of the baggage america carries. it is counterproductive. any further questions? in the back. >> what happens [[naudible] [inaudible] >> let me makit clear tha one part of this report that will not get much congressnal support is tricare. i think it's in the interests of many of the people most opposed to the kind of think people have
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beenhrough in afghanistan is people who have been through it. once we make it clear we are appropriately defined nation security -- sendly, i hope every organization in this country that wants to see more spendingn quality of life issues and lower taxes will join this effort. we need to make clear to people. those other efforts ll be severely hampere we will be making this available to people. we will ask people to buy some of it. i would urge people -- people of the progressive ccus will be working with us. we urge people to urge their member ocongress to join the letter we will be sending. we will be wting to our
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colleagues saying don't come home without this. don't try to get dicit reduction that does not include military spending reductions. it was important to show this was possible. i hope this is the beginning of a campaign to do that. >> i am wondering if there was a comparable letter. >> he has been talking to a republican senator. it is bipartisan and bcoastal. [laughter] >> [inaudible] or anywhere else in the adminiration?
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>> within the armed fces people are beginning to think -- they see the reality of the probllm the nation ifacing. there is not a lot of agreement. have we formally reached out to peop? no. a lot more needs to be don we have just satched the surface. there are broad areas of the budget we have not been able to look at closely. we will be able to find more. the importanthing is we begin a dialogue and that it be bas on a different. i'm that we need to be rethinking security and rebalancing notions of strenh and seeing every part of the government has to play some role in deficit reduction. if we all get on that page then we can work productively together. there is awareness that there is
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begin to have a dialogue with them. >> if you look at what secretary gates has said, he is doing half of what we are tking about. he is talking about making reductions. he would want to reprogramt all with and were fighting. -- the war fighting. secondly, i have been talking to some of my colleagues. the armed services committee wishes will committed to keeping military spending up. there are other committees wit jurisdiction over this area. i hoping to have a heari to which the members of the panel will be invited to talk about this at some level. >> larry and i will be meeting
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with the defense comptroller and presenting copies of the report, so we are beginning to get that. >> gates is moving this diction. we agree on the savings. we would support the reductions we just don't want it to be recycled. thk you all very much. [applause] c-[captioning performed by [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> good morning, everybody. i just finished a meeting with these small business owners. and a few of their workers and we talked about some of the economic challenges facing these folks. talked about the ways that our government can make it easier for smaller firms to hire and to grow. these men and women know how important it is because historically small businesses have created roughly two out of every three new jobs in our country and to replace the millions of jobs lost in the recession we're going to need to be able to make sure how companies can expand and add names to this payroll. we are sure small businesses are
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help solve this economic crisis. to make sure they thrive is more than about economic success. about a nation where anybody who has got a good idea and are willingness to work hard can succeed. that is the central promise of america and the promise that has drawn millions of people to our shores what happened drives workers to become their own bosses and propels some basement inventor to bring a new concept to market. that's what led two guys. bobby pancake and steve wheat, their real names they are here today, to take a chance and try their hand at actually running restaurants. obviously they would have to be restaurant ours with the names pancake and wheat. bobby and steve told me they
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recently opened up their sixth location and terry haney, the general manager of one of their locations is also here. this same promise of being able to build your own dreams and be your own boss led prachi davidos to come to this question. she told me when she started she had just one employee and today she employees more than 100 people, including her husband, hannan, who is here today. the fact is that small businesses all across the country are hiring people, making a difference in their communities, giving back to their communities, but they have also been especially hard-hit by the recession. from the middle of 2007 to the end of 2008, small businesses lost 2.4 million jobs.
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because banks shrunk from lending in the midst of a this financial crisis. it has been particularly difficult for small business owners to take up loans, to especially up shop or expand. it has been hard to finance inventories or payroll or new equipment. as i've said before, and i'll repeat, government cannot guarantee success for these companies. it can knock down barriers that prevent people from getting loans. kit create the conditions for small businesses like these to grow and to hire more people. that is what has guided much of our economic -- we enacted seven tax cut it is last year for american small businesses. seven tax cuts. so far the recovery act has supported over 68,000 loans to small businesses which translates into nearly $29 billion in new money.
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more than 1,300 banks and credit unions,, that had not made s.b.a. loans since before the financial crisis are now lending again. more than $8 billion in federal recovery act contracts are now going to small businesses. in fact, prachi has been able to add 20 part time and full-time workers because of the recovery act.
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>> we are building our infrastructure. we need your help. >> there is one thing i left after this. the only thing in my view that corn was a saved a cor widespread progressive movement. the only thing i believe that would have saved them is a
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strong, powerful, progressive movement that stood for more equality, democracy, and a better america. [applause] independent of the democratic party. >> how do we deflect criticism of the obama administration -- not used for the conservative -- from the conservative movement as a reason for their existence? >> do you want to take a shot at that? >> can i ask a follow up? please clarify something. are you speaking of criticism by the left against obama? i do not think the right cares what the left says. make it up.t say it, they will they do not have any real boundaries as far as all the
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cut -- ethical concerns. we have thought about the idea of using right wing of narrative and talking points against progressives or even democrats in general. i still think it is a good rule of thumb. you have to be critical of the administration and the leadership as part of our movement. often they need it of us. they are not going to come asking. they are glad when we do it. they have other pressures going on them. and to have the responsibility as progressives to stand up for our ideals push for what we want, regardless of who is in power. i do think it is important to keep in mind how we do that, so that we do not end of the validating these incorrect right
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wing talking points in narrative's they have developed over the years. not so much because of the personality of obama but because of the fundamentally ideological differences. we end up having a terrible problem. he touched upon this briefly earlier. this is about beliefs, values, about things that we -- basically our principles and what we care about, the country we want to live in. we have to be careful not to perpetuate the propaganda that has been so disseminated through the past few years by the conservative movement. it is very important that we start to challenge that and make our democratic representatives challenge it, the immediate challenge it. we need to do it ourselves and question ourselves every time we
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winggitate this whiteright world view. in that respect, everybody has to have a consciousness about how we talk and think and frame our criticism in a way that validate our own values system and not that of the right wing. >> i can agree with what she is saying. if i had a magic wand, i would devote the progressive movement resources to protecting the integrity of the debate happening in the media every day to really exposing the lies, fear that we see from the right wing, from rush limbaugh. is essentially, this conservative movement stands for nothing except for being against a thing progressive and wanting to destroy it in using
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nazi.like not see a it is bigger than an election cycle. that is one way in which i think we can have a significant impact. >> i would like to make a couple of comments about the tea party and fox news. i come from a very small time in -- small towns and illinois with three dozen people. i grew up in a democratic family in chicago. i have lived with these people for a very long time. i am a member -- i have been to 80 party meeting there. i am on their mailing list -- i have been to a tea party there and am on their mailing list. these people are not crazy. they are the pillars of this community. the problem is they are getting all of their information from fox news. they are getting misinformation.
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we have a very large segment of the population who is good americans, but they are getting wrong information. it is the same crap we see every day on fox news. that is their main new source. they keep stifling it. they have real concerns like we all do. we do not know where the deficit is. to go. we have spent tons of money bailing the banks out. things we are unhappy about, they are unhappy about. we need to discredit fox news. that is not happening on a major scale. what we are talking about are very minor things. if one person gets disgrace, somebody will take his spot. we have a negative corporation such as fox news that is supporting that with many dollars that is going to be around for a long time. that is our greatest -- at this point, when you have this much misinformation floating around, that is a real challenge.
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what do we do about fox news in the long term? >> i completely agree. part of what we have been doing is playing defense. we take on the most extreme, push it back, scare advertisers away. we have done things with the " new york post" as well, where they have had to pull back from some of the extreme. what is needed is a proactive systematic effort campaign that requires a lot of everyday people. we are trying to put such a thing together. i think it takes a concerted effort to do that. >> that is something we are working on right now. the most important thing that everybody can do in this room is call the mainstream media and say, hey, how i tell the story
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is, reminds me of the story between the apple and the p.c. commercials. i see fox doing this all of the time. they are looking -- mocking and bill and rising those in the media that actually do a decent job -- villanize the media that actually do a decent job. it is time for us to stand up and define what it means to be a journalist in this country. we need to call out fox for what it is. it is not a news organization but a political hit organization. we are working on making some progress in that regard. [applause] do we have time for one more question?
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we are done. please, a round of applause for a been tested panel. thank you so much. -- for a fantastic panel. thank you so much. [applause] [unintelligible] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] [unintelligible] >> up next, massachusetts congressman barney frank and a number of others talk about a new report on defense spending. following that, nato secretary- general talks about the handover
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of security in afghan forces. and remarks by the u.s. defense secretary robert gates. this week on prime minister's questions, prime minister david cameron response to calls for tougher gun restrictions on a recent murder of 12 people. the house observed a moment of silence for the victims. the prime minister's questions, sunday at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> we have three new c-span books for you. "abraham lincoln", "the supreme court", and "who is buried in grant's tomb?
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" >> congressman barney frank, walter jones, and others comment on the findings in a new report. this is just over one hour. [unintelligible] >> it is easier to find ways to cut theefense department then to finthis room. i as in the wrong part of the building. it took me awhile to give up. this ist important meeting. i am going to be giving out, i do not often preach fro a text but in yesterday's new york mes, there's an article about the war on afghanistan and i came across this. officials regard sportnd afghanistan as especially
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important at a time when many european countries, including britain and germany, are committed to sharp cuts in defense speing as part of their drive to reduce huge government deficits. in fact,wo sundays ago, the times had an article about the european ability to sustain a much higher lever -- level of expenditures for what many consider quality of life for their own citizens and it mentioned they were able to do this bause they are sheltered by nato and the american nuclear umbrella. i am a great supporter of president obama but he makes a serious error when he exams military spending from any budget constraints. secretary gates is talking about some changes within the overall amount and i welcome his movement there. he does not talk about reducing the overall amount. it is very clear that we cannot
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deal with the budget deficit over the longer term beginning now to make plans for scaling it back substantially for the future without making substantial cutin our military budget. nobody here is for cutting back on america paused national security. what we object to is the equations of the current and projected pentagon budget with national security. you will hearrom a nuer of ve well informed experts. the identity there is a false one. i should note that this is an effort that is bipartisan in nature. the house and senate are voting today so my colleagues are not here but senator brown widen and congressman ron paul and walter jones have been stng supporters of this. we believe that america has
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substantially overextended itself militily far beyond what is necessary for our national security and with reasonab cooperation with allies that need us. a symbol of western eope. we continued to be heavily invested in western europe when their budgets are significant smaller pcentages of their gdp+ than ours. i do not know what it is we are protecting western europe from. i do not know why if ere was a threat, it could not collectively with their budgets and pulations defeed themselvesxcept for the fact that having read tom sawyer, which was apparently translate into of the nato languages, they are happy to have erica paint the fce and make us think we are doing an enormous favor by allowing us to do it. we continue to have substantially -- substantial weaponry that whave toefeat the soviet union in a nuclear
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war. that seems to be a place where we can still back. we insist on keeping marines on okinawa for purposes ry unclear. it is true there are in efficiencies and we have people that are experts in that. those have to be prsed. the point is, as far as enforcing efficiencies, but when you exempt any agency from budgetar discipline, it beces hard to enforce and efficiencies. enforcing efficiency from outside is difficult. only when they know that there are limits to what they can spend that they join wholeheartedly in that effort. we have a debt reduction commission -- deficit reduction coission that will be formuling. it wil be our intenti to circulate a letter tour colleagues to be sent to that
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commission saying we will not vo for a packa that does not include substantial reductions in military expenditures going forward. we have a very thoughtful presentation which is the product of a group people who are expert in this area and a range across the political spectrum and other issue it talks aboutow to make substantial reductions from the planned expenditures in terms of aling back commitments and deficiencies and sizing our weapons to the test that we do -- that do remain. we will not be asking members t sign on to every specific. we do intend to forward this to those who say we areeing unrealistic that this is a very realistic and well informed example of how these things can be don people might want to substitute one for another. i do not believe after this
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circulated that it will be possible for people to dismiss the argument that you cannot responsibly -- can responsib and at no cost make reductions of over $1 trillion from what has been proposed for the military budget. i will now ask m colleague, but i stress this is one that denies people across the spectrum. i report some enuraging signs. at a recent meeting we have weekly of the committee chairs, several of my colleagues said it is time to start -- start looking at a reduction in military expenditures. i believe some tax increases will be necessary going forward. i believe they should be on weare people. there are arehat i would like to spend more on but i underssand there are constraints. if we do not includeilitary spending reduction of is
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magnitude and our longer-term deficit plans, we cannot reduce the deficit and irresponsible way. without come -- without some combination of tax is being too high where reductions in import quality of life issues. we hope this begins a serious debate and i challenge the president on this, exempting the military from deficit reduction and reshuffling the way the spending goes which in and of itself is good, but it is not compatible with responsible deficit reduction. i will call on the representative and the panel will present to this rrport.
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thank you for inviting me to speak. i commend the president for taking on the issue of our budget deficit but if we are truly serious aut tackling this vitally important issue, the pentagon's bloated budget must be othe table. according to the congressional budget office projections, the defense departme will spend more than $7.50 trillion over the next 10 years. that nisei that again. you all know this. $7.50 trillion over the next 10 years. this is coming at the fiscal year alone, the pentagon will spend more than $700 billion, almost as much as congress bent on our entire recovery package. we're going to turn this economy around it and if we are going to do that sohat we cannvest in policies that will sustain the
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ddle css and offer real opportunities the next generation of americans, we must get rid of the runway defense spending that we have in this country.3 under control. we can begin by getting rid of over budgeted an outdated weappns system like the osprey. who needs an airplane that does not fly? and the marine expeditionary fighting vehicle that does not float. we do not need to those things. we have to get rid of them. from my point of view and many of us in congress, although it is not recommended in the task force report, we believe the reduce our budget deficit is by ending the wars inraq and afghanistan where we have now spent $1 trillion. $1 trillion that could have been
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spent on our crumbling infrastructure, affordable health care, better education for our nation's youth. this report and the alternative budget which includes many of the same defense cuts represents a very essential starting point f discussion about our budget priorities. i honor this committee when barney frank puts together a task force, it is the brains of this country. i t y for that. >> [applause] >> an approaching this, and realized it is important for us to have a product that can be defended against people who will distort it. we are not talking about undercutting troops in the field. we're not talking about backing away from the fight against terrorism. we're talking about a realistic
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and hard-headed look of people fromcrosthe political spectrum about what are true security needs are and how we can said bridging sufficiently meet them. i am grateful for this group of peopll that have come together and then serious work for us. i will call on the executive director of the national security network. she will begin the presentation and introduce her colleagues. >> i am actually laura peterson from taxyers for common sense. we are a budget watchdog based in the sea. i would like to thank coressman frank for convening this event thank you for coming here today. even though ther are four of a speaking, there are many people involved with this report. the allontributed a msurable
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amounts of their knowledge and timexperti. if they would all stand identied themselves-- [inaudible] many of you may be struck with this as dejuu. seems like thisppears every few yea with littleuccess. what is different about this moment in history and why is the report that we are releasing so necessary? essentially, we are lookindown the barrel of record deficits
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that threaten our economic stability. economic insecurity fosters national insecurity in numerous ways from increing our vulnerability to external crises to slowing spending for our highest defense priorities. the recently released strategy correctly of firms that our prosperity serves as the wellspring of our power. it also cautions that maintaining that power will maintain discipline in setting priorities and making trade- offs. to put it mildly, priorities and making trade-offs has not been a hallmark of our defense spending over the last decade. as noted in our report, it is the largest portion of federal discretionary spending at 56 defense secretary robert gates himself admits that the influx of money that s more than
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doubled the defense budget during that te only exacerbated the ability to set priorities at the department of defense. the long-ran plans are so expensive that there unsustainable evenith logic budgetary -- moderate budgetary growth. we are all familiar with the horror stories about cost overruns on major weapons programs. however, people inside and outside the pengon agreed acquisition reform is not alone going to solve the problems. every part of the defense budget -- defense department much tighten its belt just as every agen and american is doing today. congressman must be an active member in this. lawmakers must take the long
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vvew and resist the urge to budget for the politics of today rather than the taxpayers of tomorrow. thank you and i will now introduce larry forbes. >> thank you. like everybody else, i commend chairman frank and the congressmafor doing thi and itas been great workingith this group. if we ever takeover the pentagon, you guys can be the controer and program analysis for. if you take a look at our report, and chairman frank mentioned this, the ias we have in there have been expressed both by the secretary defense and the president. when we talk about the fact that we can do these things and state money, the fact is we will not undermine our national secuty. let me go over a couple of those. robert gatesas an aicle in foreign affairs that says we will not do iraq and
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afghanistan and -- ain. that is right. why not go back to the force level for the army and marine corps if you are not going to do that again? i talk about strategic fces. we say the new strategic arms is 50/50, let's get closer to 1000. when people say we're undermining security, we of course have the famous ballista all mystic defense which is the admistration added money, congress added money, the thing has not been fully tested. but keep it in research and development until it is ready to go. secretary gates says whyoes the navy need 11 carriers when nobody else has one? l's get rid of two carriers. we have unmanned planes doing a heck of a job and pakistan and afghanistan. let's get rid of some of the
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regular tactical air wings. and in terms of investment, it has been mentioned for a couple of them. why do you need an expeditionary fighting vehicle? when w the last time the marines had into the spending? robert gates mention that. even the president is talking about being able too this. secretary of gates gives the speeches but he does not taken out of the budget. after he mentioned that about the carriers, he said i not want to cut carriers. it to somebody's time to step up to the plate. we have. the v-22. have a couple of hundred. this is one thing we should have listed to dick cheney on. he called it a turkey. this was supposed to help the marines two amphibious landings. it has not been used for that,
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nor will it. you have the f-35. you had chairman < and senator mccain pass any bill about weapons systems doing over the breach. let's kill them. the pentagon chest exempted six of them, the first ones that broke the bach including the f-35. the navy sayshedo not want any. good. you have a lot of alternatives. research development test and evaluation. i had the privilege of working with ronald reagan. we are spending more on that and the cold war is over. let's bring it back to that level. finally, and this is n going to be easy,omebody haso take a look at the personnel costs
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and the department of defense. if we do not, the pentagon is going to end up with general motors. we tk about ppasing in some of the things. when you decide on a milita pay raise, they are using base pay. any of you in the servicenow that base pay is only le than half of yo compensation. we said let's use the pentan's own reviews which have said calling relatively military ending. tricare is a great program that ople were's -- retire and not take the health care. care before allowing you to do that. you have tricare for life which was passed in the waning days of the clinton administration. when you urn 65 you can stay in
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it. when this commission is done, they will be means testing a lot of the other benefits. those are all things you can do that save substtial amounts of money and in keeping with things the secretary of defense and the esident have said in the national security strategy. thank you. >> i think we are lucky to have a very smart crowd here. we will make our presentations brief so that you can hammer us with questions and we hope that you do. my persptive is this.
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cuing the defense budget, soon insignificantly, is a national security imperative. patras' purcell's,hat is the one thinghat we could have done these past eight years, the one thing could have done that we did not to do that would have made the greatest contribution to our nation cost+ security and to the security of the world, i believe the answer isimple. get our financial house in order. that is the one thing we could down but would have made the greatest contribution. instability in the world is the monster that is going to fill the ranks of al qaeda. that ithe monster that ll turn frale states and to collapsed states. it is the mster that will drive international crime. we have to began about a -- think about beginning to get our financial house in order. we have to think of that is a
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national security imperative. that is why people who are focused on defense issues are looking with interest at the deficit question. it looks as though there will be a drive to reduce the expenditur by as much as $250 billion and maybe more p year. to bring the deficit minimally down below on the growth rate of gdp. eventually, we grow ourselves out of that. $250 billion. how much might be the pentagon portion? they spent about 19 percent of all fel spending including medicare and social secuty. about 56% of discretionary spending and they are responsible for about 65% of the growth in scretionary spending since 2001. those are all big chus.
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some people might say do not touch defense. to not touch it. that weakens us. let us take the $250 billion out of the other accounts. i think what that comes down to is an approach that saps the fundamentals of our nation's strength. if we are in this for the long haul and we better be,, we have to pay attention to the fundamentals of national strength. that means our econo, our people. when we look at how to allocate productions, the pentagon is fair game. what we have tried to do in identifying at least $100 billion in cuts and in some iterations more, is to try to have a new way of thinking about national security. many people talk about
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rebalancing security instruments. mostly what people are thinking about this rebalancing assets and resources between the state department and defense and other instruments of security. we're tina further steand say we have to rebalance our sense of national strength. it is not just come down to the peagon. it comes down the fundamentalsf our nation's economy and of our people. we need to take care of that if we are rlly concerned about our future strength and future security. what we did really was to s let's make three moves. what we need is to reform the way at we produce military power. the second is we need to rethink our commitment and the world to focus on those that are mo important. we need to rethink our security goals. for a long time, the pentagon
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has en driven by a goal of deploying within 10 days enough force to begin to fight a war in some distant land. 30 days later, to have completed and won that war. 30 days after tt be prepared agn to deploy for another. if you change that 10-30-30 to two weeks, one month, up two goals a little bit, you get a dramatic efft on the requiremts that the pentagon tried to meet with its budget. we have to revisit some of those security goals. is it reay that important to be able to do everything so fast? that is just one change. i nt to quickly draw your attention to some of the more dramatic changes that we are proposg. maybe in question and answer period, you can drill us on
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ese thgs. one is that we're looking at a military of 1.5 mlion full- time equivalent personnel. about 1.5. we are talking about a series of reductions, if they arlly implemented, you could do this. you went to the whole wwe will reduce it to 1.3illion. that is a reduction of 200,000 personnel. probably 60% willome out of ground fces. on the assumption that we are not looking to do a future iraq and afghanistan the way we have done this. we will to emphasize large-scale protracted campaigns. on that assumption, we ruce land forces back to the level of about 2001. the other 40% would come out of the air force and navy. we are talking aut capping the level of presence in europe at
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100,000. where we are headed is about 150,000. we are talking about bringing it down by one-third. most of that reduction will occur in euro. there will be some reduction in as, as well. we are talking about reducing three tactical air wings beyd what the ptagon currently plans. we're talking about taking a look at the navy, currently, 286 ships. we are talking about bringing that down to 230. they want to go up to over 300. we say you do not have to do at. how do you make those cuts? we have to gdelines. the fit one was let's usour military power inappropria ways. i know that for a screw, you need a screwdriver. for nl, you need a hammer. you can hammer a screwith a
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hammer but you make a mess of it. that is what we have been doing for the past 20 years. we are using our mitary to shape the world in diplomatic functions. we are focusing on having a lot of permanent presence throughout thworld. ev as we devel a capacity for very rap deployment and four intercontinental strike capability. we are saying let's think about the best uses of our military and we are thinkg about focusing on traditional notions of defense and deterrence. and that is what they do best. mindecond is let's keep in and think about the overmatch that currentlyxists between what we have and the threats that have developed in the world and the mismatches that exi. with regard to the overmatches, strike targets has increased 10
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times. that is since the first gulf war. accountke that into when we think about how bennett been made. the forces that i described earlier, one of the guidelines were used is this, let's build a force that could take care of all of the conventional wars that we have fought. since 1990. they could respond to those adequately. they could do some aion in two theaters at once. but take a look at what the -- what is actually required of us. not just a raw numbers of ships but if you use those ships and planes to their full capabilities, how many do we really need? ose reductions i talked about and that is the sult of what we came with. we cld have fought the war successfully if we did it efficiently with the forces we
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talked about. i will leave the rest to question and answer and i want to introduce a member of the cato institu. thankou. i am director of foreign-policy udies at cato institute. i want to thank our colleagues on the task force and chairman frank for his leadership brought us together. the othe speakers ve laid out some specific proposals to achieve substantial reductions over the next 10 yrs. productions that can be implemented without effecting u.s..ssential security of the while we do not all agree on all the partilars, we agree on one thing. the u.s. spends t much on its military. that is a subjective judgment. there are people in washington whohink we do not spend enough. what you expect your military to do.
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we think our military does too much and it shld dless. put differently, we argue we spent too mu because we choose to little. that is a phre that was caused by a colleagueho was aember of the task force and repeated in this report. it nicely encapsulates our problem. americans do not have a clear sense of our national curity priorities. our military over the last two decades has obscured the need for any. the obscure what should be done with what must be done and what is more, we have lost our ability to differentiate between those threats that must be addressed by the u.s. and those that can and should be addressed by others. washington has allowed tm military posture and to determine our security requirements as opposed to the other way around. this must change ithe portion of the report that we wrote, we
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call upon unique event it is. this calls upon open an active political culture. we should encourage people to play a larger role in their defense. such a strategy would keeus safe. not all members of the task force increour strategic vision but all agreed that we must revisit the purpose of our power. e miatch between our means and our and this -- and ou end s is growing every day. if we don't ange the strategy, i fear a pleasant thing to happen. we may settle a smaller and smaller military with more and mo missions, similar to what we did in the 1990's. that would be unwise and unfair
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to our men and women in uniform. a second outcome is perhaps more likely but me palatable. we will conninue to act as the world's police reluctant to encourage hecountries to defend themselves. we will spend more money on our military compounding our long- term fiscal solvency. we will get heavier and heavier burdensn u.s. taxpayers and u.s. troops and the bubble will crack under the pressure. i am not so fatalistic. i do not think everybody here should be. ife take steps to draw down a military and lower our global footprint and adopt a more grand strategy, we can achieve a sustainable level military spending that keeps america safe and strong for a long time to come thank you for our time and we're happy to take questions. >> >> i want to express appreciation.
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some of you who are in this business think articles fall on heard of into the atmosphere. i was reading an article co- authored by chris and had their and roll call and i was vy pleased to see ts joining of arguments and based on that. as i read, not everybody agrees as i go through this, i see one thing that will be in non starter withy colleagues. you are doing some cost shifting rather than reduction but w the exception of that, everything else h a lot of appeal. i personallytrongly agree with
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the section that was talked about in reducing the reach. one point i want to make in anticipation of theounter is we have a very strange offshoot of economics that is prevalent among some of my colleagues. it is called but the last keynesian is some -- weapon nizd keynesianism. people who claimed that government spending is a job killer resisthe efforts to g these weapons because their job creators. all the spending you do is going to be e least job producing because it is like insurance.
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it is spending your hope is not used, it is and will use spending rather than spending that has a further purpose. with that, we will invite your questions. i have not figured out the philosophical impact of that but i would say that you can have -- i am not sure entirely what that means. >> let me stress one other thin we havenvited peopleethat care about how we spending, the environment cannot tax reduction, education, housing. if we do not get my colleaes to act in the general direction that is been olined, every other issue i have just talk about will suffer.
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taxes will go higher than they otherwise would. spending would be cuelsewhere. we will defer between ourselv as to what to do with the savings. we know that nothing that any of us want will be possible until we me that start. i want to ask members of the media to ask questions. know we have some others here. >> how are you going to convince your colleagues to accept some of these changes? >> that is an important question. we have an opportunity because of the deficit reduction commission. there was proposal that a deficit reduction commission will come up with a plan and a 14 of t 18 members agreed, it will be presented to congress. what we an to do is have our colleagues right to the deficit commission and say we will not vote for any such plan unless
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of this order of magnitude are included. i think this is a very good template for how it could done. it is a deficit reduction commission that offers us at potentl. i also think it is with secretary gates has talked about. the sheer mass of this military spending in the context of the deficit cannot be denied. >> have you discussed any of these cuts with the appropriators or authorize years? have they indicated sport? it's not y. >> i wanted to wait for it. much of it depends on a philosophical change at first. we have fought many of these weapon by weapon issues and some of us helped defend and when the fight over the f22. if you do it just weapon system by weapon system, within the
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existing framework, which covers the military, it is hard to win. if you concede this level of mission, the weapon by weapon argument becomes harder to win. we will raisehat that in the context of the broader definition of the strategy which i tnk is an important way to win the argument. >> in that same vein, at the moment, the president has said he will veto the defense authorization bill if it includes a small amount of spending. you were talking about canceli -pthe f-35 and the -22. >> how realistic is this? >> i voted for the alternative energy. that may be easier to do when you talk about competition. the answer is it is not easy.
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if it was easy you could have slept in th morning. i am in the middle of a conference on financial reform. i am trying to find extra time for it. we need to begin this discussion. i will repeat what i said before. if you leave unchallenged the assumptis that we need to do everything we have agreed to do in the military area, it is hard to win. that is why it is so importann that we have people on this experienced tax force saying you are trying to do t much. the argumts harder. all kinds of things are on the table. you asked if peopltalked about cutting social security in the3 we areut of easy things to cut. well, not entirely. the proposal tt we should give $147 million to brazilian
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cotton farmers to offset the $127 subsidiary that we give to russian cotton farmers is sufficiently stupid. that is an actual proposal from my farm friend. that is why i wanted to broaden the debate. thiss not a weapon system by weapon system argent. it is an effort to say we have to redefine the mission and then you can still back to make the better mission. you put this is a nonstarter. what do you think is most appealing if yohad pick your top three of having any chance of persuading e task force? >> the reduction in the reach of the commitment, scaling back the troops in asia and europe i talk to my colleagues and the notion that we have to have a jor presence there is a hard one.
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scaling back the number of nuclear weapons given what has happened with the soviet union that is another one. i believe missile defense is another area where there is a great deal oroom. >> is there a specific question, you talked about aceving sustainable levels. do you have a number in mind? t want to go back to whe w are half of now? pre-9/11? i know i asked this in a provocative way if you thought it could succeed but there are important question raised if you cancel an internatnal program that has a lot of money that has been invested. what sort of alternatives do you propose that can fill that bl and not alienate the
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international partners? >> e have already had to countries drop the f-35 because of the high cost of other countries, when they take a look at the increasing costs of that plane, i cannot think that is going to be the problem. the other thing is the navy opted out which they said they wanted to. yocannot then produce enough to make i the cost reasonable for your other partners. let me give you a round number. if you look at the obama budget, 2015, and that's how long it would take to do all these things, they are talking about a defense budget for 2015 of $695 billion. let's say, a miracle of miracles, congressman were able to persuade and get it down to $600 billion.
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the dollar billion of that is more cost. the base budget would be $550 billion. that would be more that we were spending before 9/11. it would be spent most of the time, even during the cold r. i think it is important to keep in mind. you talk about spending, we are ending more when you spent -- when you talk about the bourse in iq and afghanistan a a time in our history except for wwii. we have 500,000 people on the ground in vietnam anwe are spending more now. if you look at the reports, we look at how much it has grown and what it would be. even if you took everything we have said, you would still be sending 1.5 times more than your potential adversary. those are things that -- when
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you say that to peopl, they understand. in the report, it has been pointed out that duringhe cold war, w spent 60% as much as our adversaries and potential adversaries. 250%, if we bring that back we will still be at 150%. >> is there is sustainable level you are looking for? is there agreement among q to say at least to return to that pre-9/11 levels? >> the are numbers in here. reducing by nearly $1 children -- trillion less than was there. if you ask anybody there, you might get a lower number starting from scratch. we are operating within that context. that may go back to the f-35.
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it depends on how its th fine. if you assume that we should keeppending all of this money on the-35. thengine becomes stronger. if you just get rid of the whole thing, you are ok. that is what i am for. the president has asked for too little so he will not get what he asked for. i would advise the president that we do not need there is a qualification that every weapon should have the so many do not. you can look at its technical performance, its accuracy,ts ease of being used by the personnel, but none of that works if there is no enemy. weapons without enemies are a waste. if you look at the status of the people we are confronting, we have outstripped that. but there are a superior weapons currently available that we have to get to the next generation even if there is no demand for it.
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>>do you think that this can catch on for the truth mentality? >> we ought to clear about the budget. you understand that the way we do the militaryudget, it is like having a lawyer on retainer. weav audget but if we go to war, that is extra. likk an old -- like when a lawyer goes to court. we have deliberately stayed away. i think we should out of iraq very soon. we did not want to get into that debate as to whether or not because nothing in here undercuts what will be provided for the troops currently in the
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field. havergument is let's not any more iraq or afghanistan. you have the air power and sea power to g to the defense of people in trouble because they are threatened bsomebody else. the answer to that is let's not get into those things in the future unnecessarily. but nothing in what we're talking about would undercut iraq and afghanistan. ihink that makes it possible to getupport. >> in response to two of those questions, we are doing sothing very different here. we are moving outde of the process. the deficit reduction commission in a sse is outside of the process. when we look at what is happening in this country today, some of

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